Wet season brings increased risk of mosquito borne disease

The wet season is here, and with it comes an increased risk of mosquito borne diseases as they take advantage of these perfect breeding conditions.

Mosquitoes thrive in stagnant water, even small amounts around the home including tarpaulins, empty tyres, bird baths, bromeliad plants and plastic containers.

West Moreton Health Public Health Unit (PHU) Acting Director Ramu Beesabathini said the best way to reduce the risk of getting sick was to stop mosquitoes breeding and avoid getting bitten. 

“This is as simple a regularly emptying items that hold water around your home, covering up with loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and footwear, and applying insect repellent containing DEET,” he said.

Mr Beesabathini said mosquitoes in Queensland can pass on a number of harmful viruses to humans, such as Ross River and Barmah Forest and the PHU had surveillance systems to monitor the risk of mosquito borne disease.

“The PHU works with councils in West Moreton to control and monitor mosquitoes to prevent potential outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases,” he said.

“Last year, the 178 traps were placed across West Moreton to test the mosquitoes for Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a rare infection related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses - luckily, there were none.”

Symptoms usually present within 3 -15 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito and can include flu-like symptoms such as:

  • pain in muscles and joints
  • rashes
  • headaches and
  • fever.

Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites this summer: 

  • Cover up with loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and covered footwear. 
  • Stop mosquitoes from getting inside with insect screens. 
  • Clean up around your home. Regularly empty items that hold water, including containers carrying water, gutters and drains.
  • Appy insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. 
  • Limit outdoor activities when mosquitoes are active. 

Visit the Queensland Health website to find out more actions you can take to prevent mosquito bites.